Written by Julie Taylor
I can't say enough good things about this series of wonderful speech therapy books for adults who are higher functioning (but still need help) after their brain injury.
"What I Mean Is..." has been written by a qualified and innovative speech pathologist who sees patients every day that need this kind of help: help that until now wasn't available. Hilary, along with her colleague Anita Kess, has successfully created and designed exercises that help put our language 'back together' again. All the pieces of our language are there, waiting... Waiting for this!
There are 2 books in the series for mild to moderate level language challenges - sometimes known as BRAIN FOG. And one book for more seriously affected asphasic patients. All of these books can be used by you - together with your local speech therapist. Your visitors, partner and the nurses in your own rehabilitation program can also use this book with you. Using "What I Mean Is..." results in a significantly higher level of satisfaction and reduced level of frustration in your daily use of language and in your own ReBuilding process.
1. "What I Mean Is..." - A Structured Program to Improve Mild to Moderate Word Retrieval/Fluency Problems (3rd edition)
by Hilary J Dibben BSc MSc S-LP(C) and Anita Kess BA MA Dip App Ling
This practical workbook includes hundreds of exercises and increases language flexibility and improves word retrieval for higher functioning clients, using a variety of approaches including categorizing words, synonyms, homonyms, analogies and so much more.
"What I Mean Is..." is now available in the ReBuildingYou MarketPlace. Click on any of the LuLu links and just a couple of days later your book will arrive - as shown here by my grandson Cobe! It was well packaged - almost undamageable - and so quick. Great service!
The technical name for those the book was written for (and I am part of this group) is the "higher functioning speech impaired" and we fall through the cracks when it comes to our need for speech therapy. Yes we can form words and ask for our basic needs. But we can't fully express all the thoughts in our minds. We're always 'losing' words and having trouble remembering exactly how to say what we want. We also say things we can't believe we said! Hence the title of this great new book!
With help we can get better and there is hope that we can express ourselves as fully as we did before. However... We need help to re-file the thousands of bits of information that have been exploded everywhere by our brain injuries.
As Hilary once said "imagine a large bookcase, full of neatly filed papers... Then knock it over. There are papers all over the place. What I'm going to do is help you pick them up and refile them." And whilst that help has never been available before, it is now. If your hospital or neuro-rehab program doesn't have help available for higher-fuctioning patients, they too can use this book and we would be delighted to talk to them, should they wish.
Hilary Dibben wrote "What I Mean Is" because there was nothing else available - no other text book or workbook (other than for young kids) out there to help the thousands of us who can speak... But who are unable to express themselves in a way that is satisfying and meaningful to them. This book is the answer we've been waiting for.
"What I Mean Is..." started out as a collection of worksheets and gradually grew from there. The development of this book was completely in step with:
* the needs of the client and
* what worked.
Simple but brilliant. The perfect work-book for me, the client - and it works.
This book can be used directly by clients with some help from either their own speech therapist, an occupational therapist or other rehabilitation therapist, a nurse or loved one/caregiver. If you have suffered a stroke, chemobrain or any another sort of brain injury and need help expressing yourself fully and with ease, this book is for you. This book works best when there is a non-injured person working with the client - although I admit that I worked on parts of this book in the waiting room with the other brain injured patients in my group! That was great fun - we would catch each other out making mistakes!
I love this book! It's the one - or the contents are similar anyway - to the one I used myself in neuro-rehab at my local hospital.
I had no idea that I needed language therapy. In fact I was horrified at first when it was suggested! I knew secretly that I had difficulties but I thought they didn't show. And I was happy to ignore them. Everyone else seemed to think I was 'fine'. Before this recent round of rehab, no-one had even suggested that I seek speech therapy. I had spent nearly 20 years silently having trouble - struggling. Praying that no-one would notice. However speech therapy was part of this neuro-rehab package and not wanting to miss any potential improvements - I went to my first session. I took a simple test, to give Hilary an idea of my abilities - which I thought I would ace! I was shocked. I had no idea of the extent of my problem and it was my brain. Here was a woman who knew what was going on inside my head when even I didn't! I was speechless. As I realized how much difference this therapy made, I couldn't get ahead quicly enough.
The exercises here in "What I Mean Is..." seem simple. In reality they are very powerful. I've always been able to write my thoughts down - now I can speak my thoughts too. And I can now see clearly what my difficulties are - which is the first step to healing and real improvement. Now I know what it is I need to re-learn. And how to do it.
Words and language are such a vital and important part of 'me'. Thank you Hilary, from the bottom of my heart.
I wanted to check out the company - www.Lulu.com - that's fulfilling the orders for the book and make sure they are 100% reliable and that your credit card details will be safe. It gives me great pleasure to tell you that I have been blown away by their integrity and professionalism. Ordering the book was easy and quick and just over a week later (they sent me 2 emails meantime to let me know where they were in the fulfillment process) I received my book. As you can see from the pictures on this page the book arrived in a cardboard package, firmly sealed inside in a protective bubble. Quick, easy, safe, very professional.
I will happily publish and factor in the ratings of every reviewer of these powerful speech therapy books for adults, as soon as I get that feedback. ORDER! your books now. And please let me know how you find them.
2. "Are You Listening" (not yet available, except by written request - come on Hilary! Shall we do an audio version?)
To hone listening, verbal working memory, and speed of auditory processing skills this book uses practical auditory exercises like verbal reasoning, oral directions, shapes and numbers, directed drawings, riddles, analogies and maps.
by Hilary Dibben BSc MSc S-LP(C)
This book will be coming later in the Spring or Summer of 2010... Become a subscriber to ReBuildingYou and read in the VillageCrier newsletter (first issue coming out soon) the moment these books are available.
3. This book for those with more difficult speech and language problems, "The Barrier Book" by Hilary Dibben BSc MSc L-LP(C), is a series of thought provoking exercises to encourage and enable the aphasic to communicate more clearly with those around him.
The very thing higher functioning clients are unable to do is to express clearly what they need - which is kind of obvious? Someone else has to point out what they can't do. (No-one could easily see it in themselves.) Honesty - not criticism though! - is needed please - and maybe that comes best from a therapist? Help is at hand. As more patients are helped we must make a loud chorus of appreciation - and a demand for the help we now know we need. Only then will the Health Authorities and Medical Insurance Companies understand and provide for this need.
These excellent speech therapy books for adults are unique and hot off the press and are available only through ReBuildingYou.
Reaching clients through other therapists proved just too difficult. But with the help of the internet, I'm hoping that this will change! We need you to forward this information on to your friends who might benefit from these books. If you are a therapist, please order a copy or two for your clinic. Librarians please make this book available in your public libraries. Family doctors please know that this book is available - and if you even suspect that speech difficulties might be experienced by your patient, recommend this book (and ask libraries to carry it...)
Clients and caregivers can now learn about these books on the internet and ask their speech therapists about them. And no-one would be happier than the professionals in the rehabilitation field to be able to help higher functioning patients with language needs to reach their potential - once they realise that this is a need. We have to ask for what we need - I didn't and no-one said to me that they noticed that there was a change in my language and that maybe I could check it out. Friends please be our friends...
I would also like to invite you to send in your experiences which will help us know better what works and how to modify the treatment that's available. This whole subject is very new and we need feedback in order to improve and progress. Your thoughts - however unimportant they may seem to you - are really important to us. (Let Hilary, Anita and I know. If I can I would like to publish your feedback - and if you would prefer to remain anonymous, that's fine too.)